I'll never didn't remember entering work that could mid-day in 1998 and getting excited co-employees request, "Have you see what just happened?"
Kerry Wood had struck out 20 batters.
He was two decades old, making his fifth career major league start for that Chicago Cubs, and that he had just amazed the Houston Astros, among the best striking teams within the league. We had the highlights on SportsCenter. Yes, it had been a grey, overcast trip to Wrigley Area, and perhaps the Astros had trouble obtaining the ball, but I am unsure it mattered that much. I recall the SportsCenter highlights, where they demonstrated all 20 strikeouts in rapid-fire fashion. I have since viewed the overall game on replay.
You are able to discuss Nolan Ryan or Roger Clemens or Randy Manley at their finest, but I have never witnessed a far more ruling pitching performance. His pitches were moving like Wiffle balls tossed in the center of the Columbia River Gorge, except these were moving at 95 mph.
The Astros didn't have chance.
They handled one infield single and Wood hit a batter, therefore it wasn't an ideal game or perhaps a no-hitter. But through the Bill James Game Score method, it had been the very best game ever pitched. Game Score rewards pitchers for strikeouts and subtracts points for runs, hits and walks. There has been just nine begins of nine innings in which a pitcher obtained 100 or greater. Ryan (two times), Manley, Curt Schilling, Warren Spahn and Brandon Morrow obtained 100 Ryan (having a 16-strikeout, two-walk no-hitter) and Sandy Koufax (his 14-strikeout perfect game) obtained 101.